Musings: DeAndre Jordan says Olympic gold beats NBA rings

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The conflict between the Olympics and other sports events is lingering on social media. For as many popular sports stars and athletes who chose to compete in the Rio Games, a comparable decided to simply stay away. You don’t need to analyze the NBA betting lines to know where DeAndre Jordan lies in that particular conversation.

For many sports stars, the Olympics hold no allure, so much so that they were happy to skip the Games entirely to rest and/or prepare for other titles and events in their respective sports.

It would be inaccurate to suggest that these sports stars hold the Olympics in disdain. Rather, they simply do not believe the effort required to earn a medal is worth the benefits accrued. For a lot of these athletes, the threat of injury is too great, this for an event they care little for.

DeAndre Jordan isn’t following that particular line of reasoning. In an interview with ESPN, Jordan not only praised the Olympics but elevating a gold medal above the NBA championship.

For Jordan, the prize for Olympic victory far eclipses the prestige of NBA rings.

Jordan is smart enough to realize that his comments might prove controversial in some circles, but he wasn’t afraid to express himself on the issue, probably compelled by the casual attitude many other NBA stars seem to take with the Olympics.

As far as Jordan is concerned, the Olympics have a special feel. The NBA pits several basketball teams in the United States against one another; as heart-pounding as that might be, it pales in comparison to the Olympics which pit teams from around the world against one another.

The duration only adds to the prestige — an NBA champion is crowned every single year, the Olympics takes place every four years. Once you miss your chance, you have to wait a torturous amount of time before you can repair your reputation.

That adds to the strength of the Olympics and emphasizes the importance of doing one’s best every single time. You simply cannot afford to drop the ball, and for Jordan, that intensity gives the Olympics an unexpected surge of thrill and excitement.

After the U.S. Olympians won gold in Argentina, Jordan has his prize. In the time he’s spent with the Los Angeles Clippers, they have never gone beyond the Western Conference semifinals.

Even with that disappointing performance, Jordan was heard saying that the Clippers had no real urgency to win, which might irritate some of their fans.

Maybe Jordan is simply being realistic; he accepts that every team goes through ups and downs. The dark times are inevitable and can be weathered so long as you are willing to fight your way through to find a path to victory.

Despite his comments about the Olympics, Jordan is clearly excited by the idea of winning a title. Perhaps the new season brings more fortune his way.